Photo: Sian Richards
Jeanne Lamon has directed the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra since 1981, so it was a big deal when she announced last year that she would be stepping down as the orchestra’s full-time music director. This past week, she gave her last concert in that role at Tafelmusik’s home on Bloor Street in Toronto. But Lamon isn’t leaving entirely—she’ll still play some concerts with the orchestra, and stay involved with the educational arm of the organization, training and teaching new generations of early music performers.
Under Lamon’s leadership, Tafelmusik has become a North American early music success story boasting a a full season line up of concerts, educational workshops, touring and recording. In 2012, Tafelmusik launched their own independent label that hit the ground running with a CD/DVD release of something called The Gallileo Project—an innovative program developed by Alison Mackay—bass player with the orchestra.
A year or so later, Mackay followed up with another multi-media program, House of Dreams. The DVD presents music of baroque composers of various nationalities against the backdrop of related paintings. Musical vignettes are woven together by a narrator who takes listeners to five European homes in London, Venice, Delft, Paris, and Leipzig. It’s hard to get a full sense of House of Dreams without seeing it in its visual context, but there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had in the music alone. Various members of the orchestra in various configurations perform with heaping doses of excellence and grace and vigor.
“The Baroque Virtuoso”
Many Tafelmusik recordings originally made for Sony Classical and CBC records have been re-released on the new Tafelmusik Media label. But one of note that will come out later this month in a limited edition celebrates Tafelmusik’s outgoing director. Jeanne Lamon features on this disc titled The Baroque Virtuoso with a wonderful line up of colleagues in a handpicked compilation of recordings made between 1990 and 2011. The sampler, Lamon suggests in her liner note, will hopefully make nice music for your next dinner party–real tafelmusik, or “table music” as the word literally translates!